Nepal adopts constitution; India welcomes amid concerns

Sep 22, 2015, 08:55 am

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India urges Nepal government to reflect the Madhesi and Tharu ethnic minorities…Senior officials from India hold consultations with Nepal leadership.
Nepalese President Ram Baran Yadav promulgating Nepal's Constitution at the Constituent Assembly Hall in Kathmandu on Sunday./ Source from AP, Yonhap News

By Ha Man-joo, India correspondent, AsiaToday - The Indian government is not completely happy with the announcement of Nepal's adoption of new consultation on Sunday. Officially, India is welcoming Nepal's decision, however, it is urging Nepal to consider demands from Madhesi and Tharu communities, who have been protesting against the new constitution.

The Madhesi and Tharu ethnic minorities, who mainly inhabit Nepal's southern plains along the border with India, are mainly of Indian descent. They are demanding state of their own land. Some of them are demanding that Nepal be declared a Hindu state in the new constitution.

According to Indian media outlets, over 40 people have been killed in fierce clashes between police and protestors in the past few weeks in Nepal. They include 2 children and a police.

The Indian Foreign Ministry said, "Throughout the process of constitution making in Nepal, India has supported a federal, democratic, republican and inclusive constitution. We are concerned that the situation in several parts of the country bordering India continues to be violent." The statement said Indian envoy Ranjit Rae spoke to Nepalese Prime Minister Sushil Koirala about India's concerns regarding the unrest in the border areas.

The Indian government has sent its Foreign secretary S Jaishankar to Kathmandu on September 18-19 as Prime Minister Narendra Modi's special envoy to express India's concerns. Jaishankar met Nepalese President Ram Baran Yadav, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and leaders from most political parties.

Since India has a significant political influence on Nepal, the Indian government's voice is likely to be reflected somehow. India played the role of a mediator when Nepal's 10-year war with Moist rebels ended with a peace deal in 2006.

Meanwhile, President Yadav promulgated Nepal's Constitution at the Constituent Assembly Hall on Sunday. He said, "I call for unity and cooperation of all at this historic moment. The Constitution is the common document of all of us to protect our freedom, independence, geographic integrity, and sovereignty in people."

#Nepal #constitution #India #Madhesi #Tharu 
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